Limo crash kills 20 people in NY

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Twenty people were killed when the SUV-style stretch vehicle careened out of control on Saturday in Schoharie, a town in NY state, killing all 18 occupants and two pedestrians. The impact killed two pedestrians standing nearby. Sumwalt said there was extensive damage to the front of the limo, mostly on the driver's side.

Officials said the limo was descending a hill on Route 30 in Schoharie and failed to stop at an intersection, a T-junction, where there's a stop sign.

"My big sister was so great and she was so wonderful".

The National Transportation Safety Board and State Police were investigating the crash.

"You're always hoping you find the love of your life, it's what you hope and wish and dream for, and they found each other", Erin McGowan's uncle Anthony Vertucci told the Times Union.

"There are seat belts in the back. but you're not required to wear them", Goelz said.

"We have been asking for something to be done for years", she said in an email.

A ceremony for the victims of the limousine crash that killed 20 people has ended with participants lifting candles above their heads to signal unity and perseverance. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating. But Sumwalt said the investigation was a priority and would be thorough.

The McGowans were a part of a party of 17 young adults who climbed into the limo to celebrate their friend Amy Steenburg's 30th birthday, the paper and other media reported.

The couple were married in June.

Steenburg died along with his brother, Axel.

Abeling said her daughter, who was invited but did not join the party, recounted that the group had rented "some kind of bus" to go the Cooperstown but the vehicle broke down before reaching its destination.

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The driver was also killed in the crash, they said, adding that the victims would not be officially named until families had been informed. A Facebook fundraiser created for her parents, Tom and Linda King, had raised more than $132,000 as of Monday evening.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo released a statement Sunday saying he has "directed state agencies to provide every resource necessary to aid in this investigation and determine what led to this tragedy".

The National Transportation Safety Board will examine federal oversight of the limousine industry as part of its investigation into the crash, the deadliest US transportation accident since 2009, Chairman Robert Sumwalt said.

Over 1,000 people jammed a riverside park in Amsterdam, New York, for Monday night's vigil.

Mr Cuomo said the limousine had been rebuilt in a way which violated federal law, adding that the vehicle hire firm, Prestige Limousine, "has a lot to answer for".

"They were both just soul mates because they just radiated love and beauty and how a marriage should be", Valerie Abeling told CNN.

"The motor is making everyone deaf", Erin McGowan texted a friend, complaining that the vehicle was in "terrible condition", according to the Times. "When we get to brewery we will all b deaf", she texted the same friend, moments before the fatal crash. "She was such a spontaneous person and she did whatever she could to have fun with anyone and everyone around her", Karina Halse said.

Saturday's crash killed 18 people inside the limousine and two bystanders.

In a Facebook post on Saturday, the Apple Barrel Country Store thanked emergency responders for their actions in the aftermath of the "horrific" accident.

State Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara confirmed that Amy Steenburg's sisters Abby Jackson, Mary Dyson, and Allison King were also killed in the crash.

Her husband Rob was also killed.

Amy and Alex were married in June. The company did certify outside companies to modify them to Ford specifications for up to 14 seats during the 2001 model year, but it wasn't clear who modified the SUV that crashed Saturday.

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